1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hazard

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HAZARD (O. Fr. hazard, from Span. azar, unlucky throw at dice, misfortune, from Arab, al, and zar, dice), a game of dice (called Craps in America), once very popular in England and played for large stakes at the famous rooms of Crockford (St James’s Street, London) and Almack (Pall Mall, London). The player or “caster” calls a “main” (that is, any number from five to nine inclusive). He then throws with two dice. If he “throws in,” or “nicks,” he wins the sum played for from the banker or “setter.” Five is a nick to five, six and twelve are nicks to six, seven and eleven to seven, eight and twelve to eight and nine to nine. If the caster “throws out” by throwing aces, or deuce-ace (called crabs or craps), he loses. When the main is five or nine the caster throws out with 11 or 12; when the main is six or eight he throws out with 11; when the main is seven he throws out with 12. If the caster neither nicks nor throws out, the number thrown is his “chance,” and he keeps on throwing till either the chance comes up, when he wins, or till the main comes up, when he loses. When a chance is thrown the “odds” for or against the chance are laid by the setter to the amount of the original stake. Seven is the best main for the caster to call, as it can be thrown in six different ways out of the thirty-six casts which are possible with dice. Supposing seven to be the main; then the caster wins if he throws 7 or 11; he loses if he throws crabs or 12. If he throws any other number, 4 for example, that is his chance. The odds against him are two to one, as 7 can be thrown in six ways, but 4 only in three; hence six to three, or two to one, are the correct odds, and if the original stake was £1, the setter now lays £2 to £1 in addition. It is useful to remember that 2 and 12 can be thrown in one way; 3 and 11 in two ways; 4 and 10 in three ways; 5 and 9 in four ways; 6 and 8 in five ways. The odds against the caster are thus given by Hoyle: If 7 is the main and 4 the chance, two to one; 6 and 4, five to three; 5 and 4, four to three; 7 and 9, three to two; 7 and 6, six and five; 7 and 5, three to two; 6 and 5, five to four; 8 and 5, five to four, &c.